Recently someone remarked to me that sometimes the Catholic Church seems to be a collection of rules just for the sake of rules. I could provide a long list of examples, but I suspect you have in mind your own list of rules that give you pause. Of course one always has to discern if what you are hearing is actually a “rule” of the Church or just something someone offers as a rule – but just ain’t so. There are lots of people who offer that it is a “rule” that you have to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent. Nope. It is “the Easter Duty” to receive Holy Communion during the Easter Season – that’s a rule –  and there is a historical reason for it. Continue reading

The Advocate

This coming Sunday is the 6th Sunday of Easter in Lectionary Cycle A. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, 17 the Spirit of truth” This is the first occurrence of the noun parakletos in the Fourth Gospel. This word occurs five times in the NT. It is used in 1 John 2:1 to refer to Jesus; and four times in John’s Farewell Discourse (14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). Continue reading